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The Lucky One

Nicholas Sparks brings us yet another novel, The Lucky One.

Thing is, though I know it is “yet another novel” to many of you – I actually haven’t read anything of Nicholas Sparks’ yet. Sure, I saw A Walk to Remember (who could resist Shane West?), but I never base my thoughts on authors strictly off a movie of one of their books. I’d say most of you bibliophiles feel the same way.

So, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it be mushy? Saturated in love scenes and gloriously romantic language? I had no idea. But I did think the cover was pretty. (I know, I know – we shouldn’t pay attention to covers, but how can you help it?)

Spoiler free synopsis comes to this: Logan is an honorably discharged U.S. Marine who has embarked on a journey with his dog, Zeus. He has succumbed to curiosity fueled by his fellow marines about the beautiful girl in a photograph he found, abandoned, in the deserts of Iraq. Thing is, the photograph turned into something more than a pretty, anonymous woman to look at in the dreariness of war – it seemed to keep Logan safe when all around him causalities were almost inevitable. Though never completely convinced of this idea that the photo was a good luck charm, Logan ends up searching for her.

And he finds her. But what was previously only a nameless face is a grown woman, a single mother, and a hardworking employee to her ailing grandmother. Her name is Beth, and Logan soon realizes they have a connection and over time they fall in love.

However, the origins of the photo that brought him there, past heartbreaks, small town politics, and lies by omission threaten to ruin what Logan has found.

Okay, I wouldn’t say this synopsis really does the book justice, but it’s the best I can do. That is the basis idea behind the plot, but it’s the writing that really pulls it off. I was blown away by how absorbing and suspenseful Nicholas Sparks’ storytelling is. Without much prodding, I was fully entrenched in the lives of these people he brought to the table and cared immensely.

There is a romantic and sensitive demeanor about the novel that never turns saccharine. It has heart, as cheesy as that may sound. Thing is, if you read it – you’ll see what I mean.

I was moved many times during the course of The Lucky One, drawn into the back-stories and everyday lives of these three-dimensional characters. It was honest and melodrama-free in its telling, something that was refreshing, especially for a novel involving some romance. And I say some romance because there is more to it than that. This is character-driven, this is a book about people’s journeys and where life leads you through tragedies and sadness.

I actually loved The Lucky One and I am now much more interested in seeking out more novels by Nicholas Sparks. His writing was restrained and poignant, mature and captivating. The end was a killer. (Vague enough for you? Now you have to read it, right?)

Extremely recommended.


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